Thursday, December 13, 2012
FOR THE LOVE OF WILD HORSES
For the love of wild horses...
|The real Phantom Stallion - photo by Melissa Farlow |
By Susan Skorupa, Reno Gazette Journal
It seems like poetic justice -- or at least good karma -- that
novelist and wild-horse advocate Terri Farley ended up living in
Nevada.As a girl in Southern California, the future author of the
24-book Phantom Stallion
young-adult book series learned to ride despite
a severe allergy to horses. By the time she was 8 years old, she was
writing about horses, pecking out her first story -- about a wild pinto
named Pagan -- on her grandmother's Selectric typewriter.
As an adult, she moved to Reno with her husband, journalist Cory
Farley, where one of the first people she met was Wildhorse Annie --
real name Velma Johnston -- a fellow horse advocate who died in 1977.
|San Francisco rally for mustangs, photo by Anne Novak |
After years as a high school teacher and writer of romance fiction,
Farley started on the Phantom Stallion
book series, giving her a clear
identification among her young readers as an advocate for the West's
Today, Farley continues to write and to champion wild horses.
Her efforts include being a party in a lawsuit filed last year, but
later dismissed, aimed at stopping a U.S. Bureau of Land Management
practice of rounding up wild horses and moving them to long-term holding
Where did your love of horses come from?
Part of it was, I lived in suburban Los Angeles. I did not get around
horses often. I was practically terminally allergic to things with
hair. Once a month, my parents took me to a stable. Between the hay,
dust and the horses, I would end up in the emergency room. They (my
parents) would suffer with me. I outgrew that, and began to hang around
What came first, the advocacy for wild horses or the book series?
I'd always cared for wild horses "» so one grew out of the other.
When we moved here, I realized this was the wild horse capital of the
world. They were not that far away; I could actually go out and see
them. When writing romance stories, there were threads of the horse
subplots. My agent said, "That's what you should write about. You can go
see them, then you can write about them as something symbolic."
|Young readers / Horse Expo, Sacramento CA|
I was on a cattle drive, and I thought I saw a white horse -- this
was really the birth of the "Phantom Stallion" series. I went back and
looked (for the horse), but there was nothing there. But I thought,
"What if it was a white stallion that came and went so quickly?" I
thought it would be one book, but found an editor who bought a trilogy.
Then, it was eight, then 10, now there are 24 books in the "Phantom
I understand the your fans keep in contact with
you on wild horse issues through mail, email and other electronic media.
I love it. I guess if I had a legacy in books and horses, it would
not be a bad one. They (young readers) are ready to take action. I have a
blog, a newsletter, 3,000 are on it. "» Kids can see they don't have to
just stand and complain. They can do something. If that becomes a habit
(for them), that will make me very happy.
Select, Sample, Purchase books: PHANTOM STALLION : http://amzn.to/Z3GJQt
Labels: BLM, love of horses, Melissa Farlow, mustang, phantom stallion, round-ups, terri farley, Velma Johnston, wild horse Annie, wild horses
Permalink to this blog post
Terri Farley @ 2:29 PM